Thursday, January 24, 2013

Changes at Goddess Temple of Orange County

The Goddess Temple of Orange County will become part of a new entity, The Goddess Center of Southern California, according to Rev. Ava Park, founder and director of the Temple and founder of the Center. In addition, the Temple has expanded its policy regarding gender.

Writing in the Goddess Center's e-newsletter sent to members and friends of the Temple yesterday, Rev. Ava announced that the Goddess Center will consist of a Living Temple, a Goddess museum, and a cultural center. Of the museum plans, she writes:  
"We are working room by room, starting with Reception as 'The Celtic Room.' The brilliant Kathy Jones, Founding Priestess of The Glastonbury Goddess Temple, is the curatorial advisor for this installation; we are very grateful to her for her time.
 We expect that The Egyptian Room (currently the Library) will be next, followed by The Asian Room (Quan Yin Room) and The African Room (Oshun’s Lounge). The Sanctuary will be the final room to be transformed.... 
We anticipate that each room will take about two months to complete so the timeline is that the entire museum will be completed by the end of this year....
If you have a beautiful goddess statue that you think belongs in the museum, let us know. If She comes to live at The Goddess Center, your name will be placed next to the display as the donor or loaner."
In discussing its role as a Cultural Center, Rev. Ava writes that
 "Truly serving as a cultural center also means leading the way in much-needed cultural evolution. The Goddess Temple has always been a feminist spiritual center...."
She then explains an expanded outlook regarding gender:
 "Over the years we have had a bit of controversy over our definition of 'woman' and our 'women only' policy for many events. The human reality is that there are many more genders than just 'male' and 'female.' These other genders are not recognized or honored in our society, and this refusal to see reality has caused untold harm to countless numbers. Beginning this year, it is our intention to identify, name, formally recognize and honor these as-yet unacknowledged genders, creating a sacred place for each in our community.Those (of any gender) who are interested in being part of this unfolding and groundbreaking work, please contact us. You will be invited to join a committee, the intent of which will be to guide The Goddess Center’s gender policies for the greatest good for all."
The Temple now holds Sunday Services beginning at 11 a.m. for "women only" three Sundays a month; Services on the 4th Sunday of the month are "for all genders, all ages." The Temple is also open to the public on Saturdays from Noon to 5 p.m.
A new website is planned for the Goddess Center. For now, you can reach the Temple and Center through

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Judith Laura

More blogs about /goddess/feminist theology/spiritual feminism/pagan/feminist spirituality/.